Category: Environment

Mission: Combat emissions by vehicles

A quarter of all lorries in the UK travel empty. Environmentalists calculate the carbon emissions in Britain at 36 million tonnes, though the rest of us can simply fume at the contribution to tailbacks these juggernauts create.

Robert Matthams did more than just get angry. He founded, a logistics firm dedicated to making use of all this empty capacity in order to reduce the traffic on Britain’s roads.

Shiply is an online matchmaker, connecting people with parcels to ship with hauliers “going there anyway”. The model is based on bidding: customers specify the package and destination, then the hauliers make bids for the contract.

Customers browse the offers, choosing which bid suits them. An eBay-style feedback system ensures customers are able to see which hauliers have provided the best experience in the past. More than 11,000 transport providers are now signed up to Shiply, and almost 200,000 shipments have been made.

For customers, Shiply is a great way to save money. For transport companies, it’s a nice little earner. 

And with every package shipped, Matthams is fulfilling his goal of reducing traffic on Britain’s roads. So far, he’s saved eight million miles worth of journeys and 4,000 tonnes of CO2. 

Read the full feature on social entrepreneurs:


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